Sunday, July 21, 2024

David “Tony” Rivenbark, 74

WILMINGTON — David Anthony Rivenbark, known to everyone as Tony, left this earthly stage on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at the age of 74 after a valiant and hard-fought battle with lung cancer.

Tony was born March 27, 1948 to his late parents Oleta and D.J. Rivenbark. He is survived by his sister Dana McBrayer, his friend and companion, Ranjeet Jha, and dear cousin Jan Peelle.

This passionate one-of-a kind southern gentleman has an unrivaled legacy of accomplishments and awards, of which he was both proud and grateful.

Actor, director, set designer, art curator, world traveler, historian, writer, lecturer, and for forty-two years the fierce defender, advocate, and dreamer for his beloved Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts.

If you had the honor of sharing the stage with Tony, being an elementary school student and watch him chase the spotlight in a Pied Piper show, being an audience member and see him perform in any of his hundreds of roles, going on one of his tours of Thalian Hall and seeing a demonstration of the thunder roll, or perhaps you have you listened to him present his latest capital campaign and his strategy for getting it funded, then you know the best of this man.

If you have experienced listening to one of his history lessons, reading any of his writings, being his employee, traveling with him to some exotic or ordinary place, attending one of his fabulous parties, or even better being a member of his family, his dog, or calling him a friend, then you should consider yourself to be very lucky because you know first-hand about this exceptional, quick-witted, often unconventional thespian.

Thank you, Tony. Now take a bow Tony and listen to your thunderous applause.

Donations in Tony’s honor can be made to Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. These gifts will support the Pied Piper program bringing live theater for New Hanover 1st and 2nd grade children, the Thalian Hall Archives Project, and the Thalian Hall Endowment Fund.

Please call Melissa White at 910.632.2282 or visit for more information.

Aquamation services are entrusted to Tranquility Cremation by Aquamation.

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